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Everything posted by William Maley

  1. Hi there! I'll admit writing this feels somewhat awkward as I really don't like talking about myself. Most of the time, I'm churning out news stories and reviews for various places. But this is somewhat important. Next week, I'll be starting a new job with JATO Dynamics as a Specifications Researcher. Basically, I'll be digging into the various information about features, options, and other information on new vehicles. This may seem somewhat odd to be moving from a writing position to doing a bit of research, but it actually uses a lot of the skills and knowledge that I have gathered from being a freelancer. Also, I've been feeling slightly burnt out in terms of the writing. I've noticed that it has been taking me slightly longer to get various pieces out, along with doing anything that is sort of creative and not sounding like a MadLibs. Now for the big question, what does this mean for Cheers & Gears? For now, I'll be taking a bit of a break from writing. I won't be giving up the ghost, but not doing a constant stream of news that I have been able to do since going freelance full time since 2012. I'll still be getting various news pieces, along with reviews and the odd opinion piece up. But I hope this break allows me to recharge and get back on writing somewhat more consistent and creative. I just want to say thanks to you, the members and readers of Cheers & Gears for somehow being able to put up with my writing for quite some time. It has been fun and something I enjoy, even when the thread somehow goes off the rails.
  2. William Maley

    Review: 2018 Kia Stinger GT1 AWD

    The Kia Stinger has been one of the most hotly anticipated vehicles in recent years. Here was a model that promised to rival models from luxury brands in terms styling, performance, and handling at a lower price. It felt like Kia was bitting off more they could chew, but I was willing to give it a chance. After spending a week in a Stinger GT1, I have to say it delivers on most of those promises. Depending on where you look at the Stinger, the impression will range from something quite beautiful to a bit of a mess. Straight on the front, the Stinger looks like something from an Italian or German automaker with a narrow front grille, distinctive cuts on for the bumper, and a slightly contoured hood. The back is neatly shaped with a rounded tailgate, taillights that run the length of the rear end, and quad exhaust pipes. But the Stinger’s design begins to lose some elegance when looked at from an angle. Take the rear as an example. The way Kia tries to bring the coupe-like roofline, bulging rear fenders, 19-inch wheels, and taillights that extend into the fenders ends up looking somewhat awkward. Color also plays a big role in making or breaking the Stinger’s look. In the case of my tester, the white does help minimize some of the polarizing parts of the vehicle. Going with red only emphasizes them and that will turn off some folks. Compared to the outgoing and expressive look of the exterior, the Stinger’s interior is quite disappointing. The minimalist approach Kia employs in the Stinger with minimal brightwork and narrow center stack doesn’t fully fit the exclusive image being presented outside. Not helping are some of the materials used in the Stinger. Considering that Kia is pitting this model against the likes of Audi and BMW, some of the plastics don’t match up to the image being portrayed. The front seats in the Stinger GT offer excellent back support, along with numerous power adjustments including side bolstering. I did wish the bottom cushion was slightly longer to allow for better thigh support. Those sitting in the back will find adequate legroom, but headroom is tight due to the sloping roofline. It was a bit disappointing that Kia doesn’t offer seat heaters for the rear, considering some of their other models like the Optima offer it. One place that the Stinger excels at is cargo space. Open the rear hatch and you’ll find 23.3 cubic feet of space. This expands to 40.9 when the rear seats are folded. Only the Buick Regal Sportback and BMW 4-Series Gran Coupe offer more space. The Stinger GT uses an 8-inch touchscreen featuring Kia’s UVO infotainment system. We have heaped much praise on UVO on the system being simple to use and offering a number of features such as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. I don’t like the placement of touchscreen on top of the dash as it makes hard to reach. Kia should consider adding some sort of control knob on the center console to improve overall usability. GT models get a 3.3L twin-turbo V6 with 365 horsepower and 376 pound-feet of torque. This comes paired with an eight-speed automatic and rear-wheel drive. Our tester came with the optional all-wheel drive system. I have experienced this engine in Genesis G80 Sport and G90, and have raved about how it delivers ample power no matter the driving situation, along with minimal turbo lag. Those same traits continue in the Stinger GT as the engine moves the vehicle at a surprising rate. The eight-speed automatic transmission delivers rapid and smooth shifts. The big downside the twin-turbo V6 is fuel economy. EPA rates the Stinger GT at 19 City/25 Highway/21 Combined for both rear and all-wheel drive. My average for the week landed around 18.2 mpg partly due to me dipping a bit too much into the boost. Kia has been making a big deal about how the Stinger GT can rival competitors from other brands in terms of handling. They bring up how Albert Biermann, the former head at BMW’s M performance division, helped in the development of the chassis. Seems like a lot of talk, but the good news is that Kia has delivered. Down a winding road, the Stinger GT exhibits qualities seen on such vehicles like the Cadillac ATS and Lexus IS 350 F-Sport with excellent body control and a willingness to quickly transition from one corner to another. Steering is where Kia could do some more work as it doesn’t quite have the same feel or weight as those models mentioned above. Ride quality is another area where Stinger GT is surprising. Despite the 19-inch wheels and sporty suspension setup, the Stinger GT provides a compliant ride with only large bumps making their way inside. Road noise is noticeable, due mostly to the summer tire and wheel setup on the vehicle. Wind noise was kept to very acceptable levels. The Kia Stinger seems to be similar in the overall idea as the K900 in serving as an attainable halo vehicle. While the K900 aimed at those wanting something along the lines of an S-Class or 7-Series, the Stinger GT serves those who something that can rival the likes the BMW 3/4-Series, Audi A4/A5, and Mercedes-Benz C-Class not only in terms of performance, but also in luxury. The end result is mixed. Kia has nailed down the performance and exterior styling, but the interior doesn’t fully match the ambitions being presented. Fuel economy could be slightly better. But the biggest problem for the Stinger GT is convincing buyers to spend almost $50,000 on a Kia. My GT1 AWD tester with a few options came to an as-tested price of $48,350. Telling someone you spent that much for a Kia sedan will raise some eyebrows. Despite how good the Stinger GT is to look at or drive, the Kia badge on the front will ultimately push most people away. If you’re part of a small group who could care less about what badge is fitted onto a vehicle, then you’ll find the Stinger GT is a very impressive package. Gallery: 2018 Kia Stinger GT1 AWD Disclaimer: Kia Provided the Stinger, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas Year: 2018 Make: Kia Model: Stinger Trim: GT1 AWD Engine: 3.3L Twin-Turbo V6 Driveline: Eight-Speed Automatic, All-Wheel Drive Horsepower @ RPM: 365 @ 6,000 Torque @ RPM: 376 @ 1,300-4,500 Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 19/25/21 Curb Weight: 4,023 lbs Location of Manufacture: Sohari, South Korea Base Price: $45,450 As Tested Price: $48,350 (Includes $900.00 Destination Charge) Options: Advanced Driver Assistance Package - $2,000 View full article
  3. The 2020 Subaru Legacy at first glance seems to be playing it a bit safe. There isn't much differentiation between this and the outgoing Legacy in terms of the design aside from a wider grille, new headlights, and updated wheels. But under the skin, there are some drastic changes. It begins under the skin with the new Subaru Global Platform. This modular platform that underpins a number of recent Subaru models promises improved torsional rigidity due to more high-strength steel and improved structural adhesive. The suspension setup is comprised of MacPherson struts in the front and double-wishbone layout for the rear. Under the hood of most Legacys will be 2.5L Boxer four-cylinder with 182 horsepower and 176 pound-feet of torque. For those wanting a bit more power, a turbocharged 2.4L Boxer four-cylinder producing 260 horsepower and 277 pound-feet of torque will be optional. Both engines come paired with a CVT and all-wheel drive. Fuel economy is rated at 27 City/35 Highway for the 2.5 and 24/32 for the turbo-four. The interior looks to be a massive improvement in terms of design and materials. Stealing the show is an optional 11.6-inch touchscreen housing the Starlink infotainment system. A seven-inch touchscreen is standard on the base model. Other changes for the 2020 Legacy include improved sound isolation, Subaru's EyeSight active safety system being standard on all models, and higher trims getting the driver monitoring system that uses facial recognition. No word on pricing, but the Legacy will arrive at Subaru dealers this fall. Gallery: 2020 Subaru Legacy Source: Subaru Subaru Storms Into Windy City With All-New Seventh-Generation 2020 Legacy Debuts at 2019 Chicago Auto Show Subaru Global Platform: quietness, stability, agility New XT models with 260-horsepower 2.4-liter turbocharged BOXER engine Upgraded 182-horsepower 2.5-liter BOXER engine New tablet-style high-definition STARLINK 11.6-inch Multimedia infotainment system Refined, cavernous interior featuring high-grade materials New Touring trim with genuine Nappa leather Available new segment-exclusive DriverFocus Distraction Mitigation System Advanced, dynamic look with wider fenders and higher trunk surface CHICAGO, Feb. 7, 2019 -- Subaru of America today introduced the all-new seventh-generation 2020 Legacy sedan – the most advanced Legacy in the model’s 30-year history. With standard Subaru Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive and EyeSight® Driver Assist Technology as well as available tablet-style high-definition 11.6-inch SUBARU STARLINK™ multimedia screen, DriverFocus™ Distraction Mitigation System and new XT models with 260 horsepower, the 2020 Legacy offers greater technology, performance, safety and refinement than ever before. Built on the Subaru Global Platform, which offers increased safety, dynamics and quietness not to mention reduced noise, vibration and harshness (NVH), the Legacy will be available in Base, Premium, Sport, Limited, Limited XT and Touring XT models when it goes on sale at Subaru retailers this fall. New XT designations mark the return of a turbocharged engine to the Legacy lineup, thanks to a 260-horsepower 2.4-liter direct-injection SUBARU BOXER® engine, while other models sport an enhanced 182-horsepower 2.5-liter direct-injection BOXER engine. Every 2020 Legacy features a Lineartronic® Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT), auto stop/start and Subaru Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive with Active Torque Vectoring. STOUT STRUCTURE AND SAFETY Introduced for 2017, the Subaru Global Platform has been optimized for the midsize Legacy, boasting a structure that is 70-percent stiffer in both torsional and front-suspension rigidity and 100-percent stiffer in both front lateral flexural and rear subframe rigidity compared to the previous Legacy’s platform. Notable contributors to the increased stiffness include a 13-percent jump in ultra-high-tensile-strength steel, a 371-percent increase in structural adhesive (compared to initial iteration of the Subaru Global Platform) and, for the first time in a Subaru, a floor crossmember that is filled with a highly rigid and lightweight two-part foam material. In another Subaru first, the Legacy utilizes a full inner frame construction in which only the outer panels are welded to the structure after the entire body framework is assembled, unlike a conventional manufacturing process in which the upper and under bodies are assembled separately and then joined. This new inner frame construction is significantly stiffer and lighter than the previous Legacy’s conventional structure. The Legacy’s stiffened platform pays multiple dividends in the real world. Along with a strengthened suspension and lowered center of gravity, the Legacy’s improved body rigidity provides more responsive steering and handling, smoother and quieter ride, and heightened hazard avoidance in emergency situations. Crash protection, too, is markedly improved, as the new body absorbs over 40-percent more energy in front/side crashes than the current model. When a crash is unavoidable, the Legacy protects with eight standard airbags, including a driver knee airbag. Subaru expects the Legacy to achieve top safety scores when it is tested later this year, including a Top Safety Pick+ rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). Passive safety is only part of the protection equation, and the Legacy once again leads its segment in active safety technology. Standard on all trims is EyeSight Driver Assist Technology, now equipped for the first time in the U.S. with Lane Centering Function. When using EyeSight’s Advanced Adaptive Cruise Control feature, Lane Centering Function provides steering assist when the vehicle veers outside its lane, helping the driver maintain a direct path. DriverFocus Distraction Mitigation System, optional on Limited and standard on both XT trims, uses a dedicated camera and facial recognition software to identify signs of driver fatigue or driver distraction. If the system detects the driver is distracted or dozing off, a warning will display on both the combination meter and 11.6-inch screen to alert driver and passengers. In another Legacy first, the 2020 model offers a Front View Monitor. Standard on the Touring XT, the Front View Monitor captures images within the driver’s blind spots in front of the vehicle and displays a 180-degree view on the 11.6-inch display, providing safety and assistance when checking road conditions ahead or parking. Additional available driver-assist technologies include LED Steering Responsive Headlamps (Limited, Touring), Reverse Automatic Braking and Blind Spot Detection with Lane Change Assist and Rear Cross Traffic Alert. DYNAMIC PERFORMANCE For the first time since 2012, the Legacy lineup will feature a turbocharged engine. Standard on XT models, the 2.4-liter turbocharged BOXER engine delivers brisk acceleration and robust all-around performance, with 260 horsepower at 5,600 rpm and 277 lb-ft of torque from 2,000-4,800 rpm. Mated to a high-torque Lineartronic CVT with manual mode and steering wheel paddle control switches, the 2.4-liter BOXER launches Legacy XT from 0-60 mph in an estimated 6.1 seconds. Fuel economy for the turbo is equally impressive, with a manufacturer’s estimation of 24/32 mpg city/highway. For 2020, the Legacy’s CVT hydraulic system features a lower viscosity oil that reduces horsepower loss by 32 percent compared to the previous model’s CVT, helping the new model achieve both higher fuel economy and greater driving performance. Opting for a non-turbo Legacy doesn’t mean sacrificing rewarding performance. The standard naturally aspirated engine is the thoroughly revised 2.5-liter BOXER that debuted in the 2019 Forester. With direct injection and nearly 90 percent of its parts new, the 2.5-liter puts out 182 horsepower at 5,800 rpm and 176 lb-ft of torque at 4,400 rpm. Paired with a Lineartronic CVT, the 2.5-liter BOXER delivers estimated 0-60-mph acceleration of 8.4 seconds and, with the assistance of standard Active Grille Shutters, manufacturer’s estimated fuel economy of 27/35 mpg city/highway. Complementing the more powerful and refined powertrains is an all-new suspension that is lighter, stronger and more responsive. The front suspension utilizes MacPherson struts with new internal rebound spring, aluminum lower L-arms and new 23mm hollow stabilizer bar. In back, the rear suspension features a double-wishbone layout with subframe, coil springs and new 19mm hollow stabilizer bar. Combined with grippy V-rated all-season tires on 17- or 18-inch alloy wheels and four-wheel ventilated disc brakes, the 2020 Legacy has achieved the highest levels of dynamic performance and ride comfort in its history. UPSCALE, TECH-LADEN INTERIOR Front and center, and highlighting Legacy’s upscale interior, is an all-new tablet-style 11.6-inch Full HD multimedia display, the largest, most advanced infotainment screen ever in a Subaru. Standard on Premium, Sport and Limited, the 11.6-inch Multimedia Plus offers direct touch controls for multimedia, HVAC and vehicle settings, and includes Near Field Communication to its list of features. Like with a smartphone, app icons can be moved and configured based on personal preference. The top-of-the-line 11.6-inch Multimedia with Navigation adds navigation powered by TomTom® (3-year free map updates) and voice activated navigation, and is optional for Premium, Sport and Limited and standard for Touring. A Subaru-first split-screen display can simultaneously show two types of information – e.g., navigation and audio – for improved user interaction. Both the Multimedia Plus and Multimedia with Navigation feature two rotary dial knobs, including one for audio volume. The Base model also gets an all-new multimedia system, with dual 7.0-inch Wide Video Graphics Array (WVGA) displays that split multimedia and HVAC controls. SUBARU STARLINK In-Vehicle Technology offers an integrated cockpit experience by allowing the driver to control entertainment and vehicle settings through a large touchscreen display. All STARLINK multimedia systems for the 2020 Legacy offer a high-resolution touchscreen; new on-screen controls for audio, HVAC and vehicle features; combination meter integration; smartphone integration with Apple CarPlay™, Android™ Auto and new STARLINK SmartDeviceLink™ apps; Bluetooth® hands-free phone and audio streaming connectivity; AM/FM stereo; Rear Vision Camera; SiriusXM® All Access Radio (4-month free subscription) and SiriusXM Travel Link® (3-year free subscription); HD Radio® and over-the-air updates as standard. For the first time in Legacy, available in-car Wi-Fi connectivity provides smooth internet access via high-speed LTE™ communications, broadening the range of entertainment options available to rear-seat occupants using smart devices. For safety, security and convenience, SUBARU STARLINK Connected Services offers three packages that are among the most affordable in the industry. The STARLINK Safety Plus package includes SOS emergency assistance, enhanced roadside assistance, automatic collision notification, maintenance notifications, monthly vehicle health report and diagnostic alerts (3-year free subscription). For even greater peace of mind, the STARLINK Safety Plus & Security Plus package adds remote engine start with climate control and heated seats (on models equipped with Keyless Access and push-button start), stolen vehicle recovery service, vehicle security alarm notification, remote lock/unlock, remote horn and lights, remote vehicle locator and parenting features including boundary, speed and curfew alerts (6-month free trial). The STARLINK Concierge package adds the convenience of in-vehicle assistance with restaurant and hotel reservations, purchasing tickets for sporting/theater events and scheduling service appointments. Framing the large multimedia screen is a new multilayer instrument panel featuring a soft-touch wrapped surface with available real double-stitching for a high-quality appearance. The wrapped surface material and stitching employ the same color combination as the seats and door trim for a uniform look and feel. Limited and Touring models feature 10-way power front seats with lumbar support, adjustable cushion length (driver only) and heated front/rear seats. For 2020, seat heaters come with three levels of temperature adjustment as well as extended coverage up to the shoulders for improved comfort. Touring models add ventilated front seats and a heated steering wheel, with the latter optional on Limited. An available 12-speaker Harman Kardon® audio system, with Clari-Fi™ compressed audio restoration technology and GreenEdge™ high-efficiency speakers and amplifier, delivers premium sound. Enjoying the high-end audio can be fully realized thanks to a serene cabin that is almost 3 dB quieter at highway speeds. Subaru engineers worked extensively to find ways to reduce unwanted noise coming into the cabin, fitting the Legacy with new door weather strips that feature a baffle in the mid-section and dual lips on the roof side for improved quietness. Even the weather strip mounting structure was modified to reduce mounting variation and improve sound insulation. Sound-insulated glass, which uses a sound-insulating inner film for the windshield and front-door glass, has been adopted, while glass thickness all around has been increased for class-leading quietness. Comfort and convenience in the Legacy have been optimized, with increases in front shoulder room, front/rear hip room and rear legroom. For powering and pairing personal devices, passengers can utilize four USB ports (two front, two rear) plus one auxiliary input jack in front. Further, all Legacy models except for the Base receive two 12-volt DC power sockets (one in center console, one in glove box). BOLD DESIGN Following a “Dynamic x Solid” philosophy, Subaru designers incorporated a “Bold in Movement” concept when penning the new Legacy. The result is an expressive, sleek silhouette that appears to be in motion, even when stopped. With larger thickness in profile panel surfaces and a thicker appearance from the raised trunk surface, which has a smooth connection to the C-pillar, the Legacy embodies solid toughness and a dynamic active image. Wider fenders emphasize tire and wheel presence, while a frameless hexagonal grille and a lower grille intake that is molded to evoke the image of an aircraft add width and sportiness to the Legacy’s aggressive stance. A reworked side-mirror design improves not only appearance but also aerodynamics and quietness. The side mirrors can also be interlocked with seat position memory, reducing the time required to adjust mirrors before driving. In addition, the Touring trim offers power folding and reverse interlocked tilt-down functions for the side mirrors. Epitomizing Legacy’s “Bold in Movement” concept are new Touring and updated Sport models. The Touring, standard with the 2.4-liter turbo BOXER, leverages luxurious appointments inside and out, including genuine Nappa leather (a Subaru first), high-gloss black molding for the pillars, chrome plating decorated door handles and satin tone plated side mirrors. The Sport, standard with the 2.5-liter BOXER, boasts a performance-oriented exterior that features an exclusive rear bumper, front grille with high-gloss black bar, high-gloss black side mirrors, trunk lid spoiler and dark metallic 18-inch alloy wheels. Inside, the Sport comes with aluminum pedals as well as red stitching on the instrument panel, door trim, seats, shift lever boot and leather-wrapped steering wheel. The Sport also adopts an SI-DRIVE switch for varying engine output characteristics between I (Intelligent) and S# (Sport Sharp) modes, with S# offering increased acceleration response. GO-ANYWHERE USABILITY The Legacy wouldn’t be a Subaru if it didn’t offer the go-anywhere usability that has long been a brand hallmark. With 15.1 cu ft of cargo capacity and 1.4 inches of additional cargo floor length, the trunk in the 2020 Legacy can comfortably hold four full-size roller bags, giving it the functionality to match that of many small crossovers. For additional cargo versatility, the Legacy offers standard mounting brackets on the roof for quick installation of a rack, box or tray, making it easy to load surfboards, canoes and other equipment. The 2020 Legacy will arrive at Subaru retailers this fall, with pricing announced closer to the on-sale date. View full article
  4. William Maley

    Tesla Cuts Model 3 Price Again

    Tesla isn't done with price cuts it seems. Bloomberg reports that the automaker has dropped the price of all Model 3 models by $1,100 - bringing the base price to $42,900. The reason cited by Tesla was the end of a customer referral program that ended up costing them more than they realize. The program gave new owners six months of free supercharging if they were referred by a friend. Those who referred a number of people got rewarded with various prizes such as getting the next-generation Tesla Roadster. This is the second price cut for Model 3 this year. Last month, Tesla instituted a $2,000 price cut on their lineup to soften the blow of the Federal Tax Credit being cut from $7,000 to $3,750. Source: Bloomberg View full article
  5. In Europe, Volkswagen offers a couple of plug-in hybrid models such as the Golf GTE. But don't expect any those plug-in hybrids to come to the U.S. "It's a bridging technology," between internal-combustion and full-electric cars, said Matthew Renna, Volkswagen North America Region's vice president of e-mobility yesterday at the Chicago Auto Show. "It's very cost-prohibitive to have two different powertrains on one platform." Volkswagen has made no secret about their electric car ambitions, with plans to launch a full lineup within the next few years. While Europe will get a small hatchback based on I.D. Concept, the U.S. will get a production version of the Crozz concept. Volkswagen is also planning on selling their upcoming EVs in all 50 states, not only in those that require automakers to sell certain number of EVs. "The plan is to sell nationwide. The goal is a nationwide roll-out ASAP," said Renna. Source: Roadshow View full article
  6. It hasn't been an easy go for Holden for almost the last decade. Sales have been declining for the past eight years and buyers haven't been wowed by either the new Commodore or their growing lineup of crossovers. This has reportedly brought the vultures out. The Australian Financial Review reported yesterday that Inchcape, one of the largest independent vehicle importers has started discussions with General Motors about possibly taking over the importation of Holden vehicles. According to sources, the talks are going very slowly and there are "extreme sensitivities on both sides of the negotiating table." The talks will not include the transfer of Holden's engineering and design offices, along with the Lang Lang Proving Grounds. Inchcape has also hired one of the largest accounting firms to perform due diligence and looking into various scenarios. The likely reason Inchcape is looking into this possibility is due to GM's restructuring plans. Already, the company has pulled out certain markets and is planning to possibly shut down various plants in the U.S. Inchcape handles the import and retail duties for a number of automakers such as Subaru, Toyota, Volkswagen, and more in 32 countries. In Australia, Inchcape handles Citroen, Peugeot, and Subaru. "Under the leadership of [GM Holden CEO] Dave Buttner, who was appointed in August last year, we are turning around the Holden business, growing sales, re-engaging and re-energizing our distribution network and launching exciting vehicles like the all-new Acadia. We are fully focused on supporting Dave in building a strong Holden for the future, as it remains an important part of GM's business," a spokesman for GM told the outlet. When reached by CarsGuide for a comment, a spokesperson for Inchcape said, "We are always assessing a range of opportunities and initiatives in support of our Ignite strategy and we do not comment on speculation." Source: Australian Financial Review (Subscription Required), CarAdvice, CarsGuide View full article
  7. 30 years ago at the Chicago Auto Show, Mazda pulled the sheet off a small roadster called the MX-5 Miata. Little did anyone know how much of an impact this little car would make in the world. Today, Mazda honored this anniversary by introducing the 2019 MX-5 Miata 30th Anniversary Edition. Available both as the soft-top and RF hard-top, it comes in a new Racing Orange paint color that Mazda says evokes "the breaking dawn of an exciting new day." A set of 17-inch Rays ZE40 forged aluminum wheels are based on the wheels used on the MX-5 Cup race car. All versions of the 30th Anniversary get Recaro seats, Brembo brakes, Bose sound system and compatibility with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Opt for the manual and it includes limited-slip differential, Bilstein shocks, and a front shock tower brace. Mazda is planning on building 3,000 MX-5 Miata 30th Anniversary Editions, with 500 coming to the U.S. Pricing ranges from $34,995 for the manual soft-top to $39,995 for the RF automatic. But you have missed your chance to order one. Car and Driver notes that Mazda has sold out of the allotment for the U.S. within four hours of opening the order books. Gallery: 2019 Mazda MX-5 Miata 30th Anniversary Source: Mazda Mazda Announces 2019 MX-5 Miata 30th Anniversary Celebrating 30 years, MX-5 Miata isn't just a car, it's a cultural movement 2019 Mazda MX-5 Miata 30th Anniversary will be available for pre-order with a starting MSRP* of $34,995 This special edition MX-5 Miata is equipped with a SKYACTIV-G 2.0L engine rated to deliver 181 horsepower Exclusive features include Racing Orange exterior paint and interior accents, special serial number badging, RAYS 17-inch forged alloy wheels and RECARO sports seats with Alcantara seating surface CHICAGO, Feb. 7, 2019 -- In 1989 the Chicago Auto Show played host to one of Mazda's biggest milestones, the debut of the MX-5 Miata. Now, 30 years later, Mazda is proud to share another milestone at the Chicago Auto Show with the world premiere of the 2019 Mazda MX-5 Miata 30th Anniversary. Continuing to embrace the philosophy of the original 1989 MX-5 Miata, this special edition represents three decades of history. A history that has been filled with so many people, from the passionate Mazda engineers who created the first-generation MX-5 as a homage to early lightweight European sportscars, to the succeeding development engineers who took up the challenge to build on the high ambitions of their predecessors. Collectively, they all helped the MX-5 reach amazing heights, from being the first car to win both World Car of the Year and World Design of the Year in the same year with the current generation MX-5 Miata in 2016, to achieving production of the one millionth unit in April 2016. In total, the MX-5 has won over 280 awards, as of January 2019, with many of those accolades thanks to the unshakable support of Mazda owners and fans all over the world. This special edition is meant to commemorate all these milestones and the important people that have been part of this special journey, especially Mazda's enthusiastic fans. The 2019 Mazda MX-5 Miata 30th Anniversary, offered in both soft top and RF models, builds upon the 2019 Mazda MX-5 Grand Touring, which added many new features including a newly refined powertrain rated to deliver 181 horsepower and 151 pound-feet of torque; a 17 percent increase over the previous model year. The first noticeable new feature is the exclusive Racing Orange exterior paint color. This strikingly vivid color pays homage to the yellow MX-5 Miata Club Racer that also debuted at the 1989 Chicago Auto Show. Racing Orange is meant to represent sunrise and anticipation, while staying true to the characteristics of a pure sports car. The roof on RF is painted Racing Orange, while the soft top will feature a black cloth top. The theme continues to the interior with orange interior louvers and orange piping on the heated RECARO sports seats. The seats in this special edition are wrapped in Alcantara, which is also found in the door inserts and lower instrument panel. All of these features help to further enhance the customer's sense of exclusivity and pride of ownership. To contrast the brilliant color, the new RAYS ZE40 17-inch Dark Gunmetal forged alloy wheels play up the MX-5's driving legacy. Customers may notice these wheels are based on the Global MX-5 Cup Car, further connecting the iconic roadster's anniversary edition to its racing roots. Standard in all 2019 Mazda MX-5 30th Anniversary models are Apple CarPlayTM and Android AutoTM infotainment technologies. Also standard is SiriusXM with three-month subscription and new SiriusXM three-year Traffic Plus and Travel Link® subscription. No special edition would be complete without the appropriate badging. Each 2019 Mazda MX-5 30th Anniversary model will be affixed with a special "30th Anniversary" serialized badging on the driver's side rear quarter panel to help commemorate 30 years of endless gratitude and unbending determination to keep evolving. Production of 2019 Mazda MX-5 30th Anniversary model will be limited to a total of just 3,000 units worldwide. In the U.S., there will be a total of 500 non-sequentially badged units available through a custom build to order website at www.mazdausa.com/30th-anniversary. Owners can order their 2019 Mazda MX-5 30th Anniversary model as either a soft top or RF with either a manual or automatic transmission. Orders can be placed starting on 2/7 at 12 p.m. CST. View full article
  8. Toyota is putting on quite the show today in Chicago with the debuts of the Land Cruiser Heritage Edition , Sequoia TRD Pro, and refreshed 2020 Tacoma. But they had one more surprise up their sleeve in the form of the 2020 RAV4 TRD Off-Road. Building upon the Adventure model, the TRD Off-Road begins with an updated suspension that takes some ideas from Ryan Millen's RAV4 rally car campaigned in the Rally America championship a few years ago - new coil springs and revised twin-tube shocks. A set of Falken A/T tires come wrapped with 18-inch matte black wheels. Other changes for the TRD Off-Road include a new front grille, red stitching, and the TRD logo on the seats and floormats. Power remains a 2.5L four-cylinder with 203 horsepower. This is paired with an eight-speed automatic. No mention of price, but Toyota says the RAV4 TRD Off-Road arrives at dealers this fall. Gallery: 2020 Toyota RAV4 TRD Off-Road Source: Toyota Toyota RAV4 Drivers Earn Trail Cred’ Thanks to New TRD Off-Road Treatment 2020 RAV4 TRD Off-Road Suspension Inspired by Rally RAV4 Race Team Standard Dynamic Torque Vectoring All-Wheel Drive Falken Wildpeak A/T Trail All-Terrain Tires TRD 18-inch Flow-Formed Matte Black Aluminum Wheels Exclusive TRD Exterior and Interior Features Standard Toyota Safety Sense (TSS 2.0) CHICAGO, February 7, 2019 – The all-new, fifth-generation Toyota RAV4, which launched just two months ago, is already looking ahead with the unveiling of the 2020 RAV4 TRD Off-Road model at the Chicago Auto Show. Arriving in the fall, the newest addition to the RAV4 family will be outfitted with a full array of special Toyota Racing Development engineering and design features for greater trail-driving capability and standout style. The vehicle that started the segment 22 years ago is now the best-selling non-pickup truck in the U.S. With the latest generation, it is bringing even more sport and more utility. For 2020, the new TRD Off-Road is designed for customers who make the great outdoors a second home. For the first time, the RAV4 will join a formidable team of Toyota TRD Off-Road SUVs and pickups inspired by the brand’s legendary off-road and desert racers. Beneath the new-generation RAV4’s bolder design, the Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA-K) platform provides an ideal base for TRD’s renowned go-anywhere capability and style. Building on the 8.6-inch ground clearance and design features of the RAV4 Adventure grade, the 2020 RAV4 TRD Off-Road goes above and beyond with suspension, wheels and tires engineered specifically for trail driving. The Dynamic Force 2.5-liter, 203-horsepower four-cylinder engine, paired with an 8-speed Direct-Shift Automatic Transmission, provides get-up-and-go-anywhere performance and exemplary fuel efficiency. The driver can choose from Sport, Normal and Eco modes. To take more equipment along, such as personal watercraft, dirt bikes or a small enclosed trailer, the RAV4 TRD Off-Road is rated to tow up to 3,500 pounds. Standard Dynamic Torque Vectoring All-Wheel Drive can direct up to 50 percent of engine torque to the rear wheels, as well as distribute torque to the left or right rear wheel to enhance handling on or off pavement. When AWD isn’t needed, such as on long highway stretches, Rear Driveline Disconnect optimizes fuel economy. Using standard Multi-Terrain Select, the driver can maximize traction by matching the drive mode to the conditions -- Mud & Sand mode for beach driving, or Rock & Dirt mode for trails, and Snow for wintery conditions, for example. The Multi-Information Display (MID) shows torque allocation and slip control data. The new-generation RAV4’s short front and rear overhangs enhance trail-driving capability. In addition, the RAV4 TRD Off-Road will include Hill Start Assist Control (HAC), Trailer Sway Control (TSC), and Downhill Assist Control (DAC) for optimal on-road and off-road performance and safety. Thoroughly TRD The 2020 RAV4 TRD Off-Road takes cues from Toyota’s rich off-road racing history. It shares high-rise roof rails, large over-fenders, and aggressive bumper, grille designs and fog light surrounds with the RAV4 Adventure grade, but with a uniquely TRD personality. Inspired by TRD’s successful learnings with Ryan Millen’s Rally RAV4, TRD Off-Road suspension is engineered to enhance body control and small-bump isolation to help smooth out trails and rough city streets. Unique red coil springs are tuned for an off-road focus. The twin-tube shocks are re-valved and feature new internal rebound springs to improve rebound control. New bump stops maximize compression direction wheel travel and help improve body control over large bumps and dips. The 2020 RAV4 TRD Off-Road exclusively rolls on lighter and more rigid flow-formed 18x7-inch matte black TRD alloy wheels with Falken Wildpeak A/T Trail all-terrain tires. These all-terrain tires mean business, with a unique tread pattern and compound developed to TRD technical requirements. A rugged square shoulder design helps protect against punctures, on or off road, and the tires are Severe Snow Rated with open shoulder grooving to shed debris, mud and snow. Available in an exclusive two-tone Magnetic Gray Metallic w/Ice Edge Roof combination, the RAV4 TRD Off-Road is accented by dark gray front and rear lower fascias, and front LED fog lights are standard. TRD Off-Road is also available in Midnight Black or Lunar Rock, both of which are available with optional Ice Edge Roof. Other available colors include Ruby Flare Pearl and Super White. Inside, striking red stitching and red trim accent the cabin. Seat surfaces are covered in comfortable SofTex, which is lighter than leather yet highly durable, and the front seats have “TRD” stitched into the headrests. Exclusive TRD all-weather floor mats and rear cargo mat capture the mud, sand and water dragged in from the outside and easily shake out for cleanup. Next-Generation Toyota Safety Sense (TSS 2.0) Toyota Safety Sense (TSS 2.0), which is already standard on all 2019 RAV4 models, includes a long roster of active-safety technologies and capabilities: Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection (PCS w/PD) Full-Speed Range Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC) Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist (LDA w/SA) Automatic High Beam (AHB) Lane Tracing Assist (LTA) Road Sign Assist (RSA) Blind Spot Monitor (BSM) with Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA) and Rear Cross Traffic Braking (RCTB) system will also be standard on the 2020 RAV4 TRD Off-Road. View full article
  9. In Europe, Volkswagen offers a couple of plug-in hybrid models such as the Golf GTE. But don't expect any those plug-in hybrids to come to the U.S. "It's a bridging technology," between internal-combustion and full-electric cars, said Matthew Renna, Volkswagen North America Region's vice president of e-mobility yesterday at the Chicago Auto Show. "It's very cost-prohibitive to have two different powertrains on one platform." Volkswagen has made no secret about their electric car ambitions, with plans to launch a full lineup within the next few years. While Europe will get a small hatchback based on I.D. Concept, the U.S. will get a production version of the Crozz concept. Volkswagen is also planning on selling their upcoming EVs in all 50 states, not only in those that require automakers to sell certain number of EVs. "The plan is to sell nationwide. The goal is a nationwide roll-out ASAP," said Renna. Source: Roadshow
  10. It hasn't been an easy go for Holden for almost the last decade. Sales have been declining for the past eight years and buyers haven't been wowed by either the new Commodore or their growing lineup of crossovers. This has reportedly brought the vultures out. The Australian Financial Review reported yesterday that Inchcape, one of the largest independent vehicle importers has started discussions with General Motors about possibly taking over the importation of Holden vehicles. According to sources, the talks are going very slowly and there are "extreme sensitivities on both sides of the negotiating table." The talks will not include the transfer of Holden's engineering and design offices, along with the Lang Lang Proving Grounds. Inchcape has also hired one of the largest accounting firms to perform due diligence and looking into various scenarios. The likely reason Inchcape is looking into this possibility is due to GM's restructuring plans. Already, the company has pulled out certain markets and is planning to possibly shut down various plants in the U.S. Inchcape handles the import and retail duties for a number of automakers such as Subaru, Toyota, Volkswagen, and more in 32 countries. In Australia, Inchcape handles Citroen, Peugeot, and Subaru. "Under the leadership of [GM Holden CEO] Dave Buttner, who was appointed in August last year, we are turning around the Holden business, growing sales, re-engaging and re-energizing our distribution network and launching exciting vehicles like the all-new Acadia. We are fully focused on supporting Dave in building a strong Holden for the future, as it remains an important part of GM's business," a spokesman for GM told the outlet. When reached by CarsGuide for a comment, a spokesperson for Inchcape said, "We are always assessing a range of opportunities and initiatives in support of our Ignite strategy and we do not comment on speculation." Source: Australian Financial Review (Subscription Required), CarAdvice, CarsGuide
  11. With new versions of GM and Ram Trucks' heavy-duty pickups coming around the corner, it comes as no surprise that Ford has decided to update their F-Series Super Duty trucks. The big news is what resides under the hood. Taking the place of the 6.8L V10 engine is a new 7.3L V8 engine. Ford isn't detailing any specs on this engine, but is claiming that it will be the most powerful V8 in the class. The V10 produced 362 horsepower and 457 lb-ft of torque, and could tow up to 33,000 pounds. The 6.7L PowerStroke turbodiesel V8 engine has been updated with a larger turbocharger, fuel injection system, and upgraded internals. Again, Ford is keeping mum on specs. The base 6.2L gas V8 engine remains unchanged. All engines come paired with a new ten-speed Torqueshift automatic transmission that slots in the same space as the previous six-speed automatic. The exterior gets new front end styling to improve cooling, along with new LED lighting. Other changes for the 2020 model include more active safety equipment, 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot, wireless phone charging, and Pro Trailer Backup Assist. The 2020 F-Series Super Duty arrives at dealers this fall. Gallery: 2020 Ford F-Series Super Duty Source: Ford New Ford F-Series Super Duty Pickup Raises Bar Again With Next-Level Capability, Power And Technology Next-level capability: New 2020 F-Series Super Duty will offer its highest-ever conventional, gooseneck and fifth-wheel towing and payload ratings Next-level power: Most powerful Super Duty yet launches with two new engine offerings including all-new advanced 7.3-liter gasoline V8 and upgraded third-generation 6.7-liter Power Stroke® diesel V8; all-new heavy-duty 10-speed TorqShift® automatic transmission Next-level technology: New F-Series Super Duty now offers class-exclusive Pro Trailer Backup Assist, while its Trailer Reverse Guidance is now compatible with fifth-wheel and gooseneck trailers; standard FordPass Connect™ with 4G LTE modem and available wireless charging keep you connected; smart driver-assist features such as automatic emergency braking are standard on XLT series and above DEARBORN, Mich., Feb. 5, 2019 – Ford, America’s truck leader, introduces the next level of Built Ford Tough heavy-duty pickup truck capability, power and technology with the new 2020 F-Series Super Duty pickup. “Super Duty customers have demanding and diverse needs – from towing heavy trailers to repairing critical infrastructure,” said Kumar Galhotra, Ford president, North America. “Productivity is their lifeblood and their truck is their biggest tool. Our new Super Duty has more power, more payload and towing capability and better technology than ever to help these customers build a better world.” F-Series Super Duty had the most market share in industries such as government with more than 60 percent share, petroleum with 50 percent share and utility services with more than 45 percent share, according to Ford analysis of IHS Markit TIPet U.S. registration data, January 2017 through November 2018. Assembled in the United States, Ford’s F-Series Super Duty is built with pride at both Kentucky Truck Plant in Louisville and Ohio Assembly Plant in Avon Lake. New F-Series Super Duty improvements include new gas and diesel engines, an all-new 10-speed automatic transmission, chassis upgrades, exterior and interior design updates, and smart advanced technology that raises the bar again in towing, payload and connectivity. All-new powertrains for improved performance and capability An all-new Ford-designed and Ford-built 7.3-liter V8 joins the standard 6.2-liter V8 in Super Duty’s gas engine stable. The Ford-designed and Ford-built third-generation 6.7-liter Power Stroke® diesel V8 is upgraded to deliver more power and torque. An all-new Ford-designed and Ford-built 10-speed heavy-duty TorqShift® automatic transmission is paired with the 7.3-liter V8 and third-generation 6.7-liter Power Stroke® diesel V8. Ford is the only manufacturer to design and build all of its heavy-duty engine and transmission combinations – ensuring the powertrain works seamlessly with all chassis components and vehicle calibrations. “With the addition of the 7.3-liter V8, upgrades to our 6.7-liter and the debut of an all-new 10-speed transmission, we are delivering the strongest, most capable Super Duty powertrain offerings yet,” said Mike Pruitt, Ford Super Duty chief engineer. The 7.3-liter gas V8 engine delivers high performance in a compact package. Based on decades of commercial engine experience, this 7.3-liter is expected to be the most powerful gas V8 in its class – providing durability, ease of maintenance, and the towing and payload capability customers want. It uses an all-new cam-in-block, overhead valve architecture with cast iron block and forged steel crankshaft for maximum durability. Port injection with variable-valve timing optimizes the intake and exhaust to match performance with workloads. Oil jets cool the pistons under heavy loads. Super Duty’s third-generation 6.7-liter Power Stroke includes a new 36,000-psi fuel injection system with all-new injectors that precisely meter and spray up to eight times per stroke to control noise levels and optimize combustion. This innovative inboard exhaust diesel V8 features a redesigned electronic-actuated variable-geometry turbocharger that provides improved pumping efficiency and throttle response. Structural enhancements increase the strength of the cylinder head, block, connecting rods and bearings to handle higher cylinder pressure and increased output. New steel pistons provide higher firing pressure capability and less friction – meaning improved performance and more horsepower and torque than ever. The truck’s standard 6.2-liter gas V8 rounds out the three engine choices for Super Duty customers. This workhorse offers heavy-duty truck customers proven capability at an affordable price. Ford is making its all-new 10-speed TorqShift automatic transmission available across all three Super Duty engine offerings for the new 2020 model. This TorqShift features a wider gear ratio span than the 6-speed and is designed for the harshest towing conditions. The heavy-duty transmission continues to offer class-exclusive live-drive power takeoff, which allows the operator to engage industrial equipment and accessories, such as snowplows, with the truck in motion. This electronically controlled transmission has selectable drive modes that include normal, tow/haul, eco, slippery, and deep sand and snow. The entire unit is so cleverly engineered that – even with four extra gears – it fits in the same space as the 6-speed and weighs only 3.5 pounds more. Technology that assists and improves productivity For 2020, class-exclusive new Pro Trailer Backup Assist makes negotiating even the largest trailers into the tightest of spaces easier than ever before. With hands off the steering wheel, drivers use the Pro Trailer Backup Assist knob to easily steer the trailer via the reverse camera. The truck’s Trailer Reverse Guidance system shows trailer angle and direction, and provides steering suggestions to most efficiently direct a trailer backward. Both systems are built to accommodate all trailer styles, including fifth-wheel and gooseneck trailers. Because today’s work is a 24/7 proposition, staying connected is essential. Every new 2020 Super Duty includes FordPass Connect™ embedded 4G LTE modem with Wi-Fi access for up to 10 devices, keeping crews in communication no matter where the job might take them. Available lane-keeping alert helps you stay between the lines on the road, while the Blind Spot Information System with trailer coverage monitors for vehicles in your blind spots – even when towing. Pre-Collision Assist with Automatic Emergency Braking and Pedestrian Detection aids in avoiding or mitigating collisions with other vehicles and pedestrians. These features are standard on XLT and above Super Duty models. Modern touches include the addition of wireless charging and USB-C ports to power your devices. Powerful upgrades inside and out Across the range, an enhanced front-end design allows for optimized cooling and lighting performance under heavy loads. For the first time, all dual-rear-wheel Super Duty trucks are fitted with a uniquely designed high-airflow grille optimized for maximum powertrain cooling. Super Duty’s LED headlamps have a new look with improved performance, while high series trucks feature continuous signature lighting. An improved front bumper and air dam optimize cooling and make using utility hooks easier. A freshened tailgate design, revised taillamps and new rear bumper convey bolder Built Ford Tough style. Decorative appliqués on the doors and media bin door have been updated on Lariat, while on Platinum edition trucks, these pieces have been updated to Onyx Argento wood. The interior of the Limited model is completely refreshed, with colors updated to Ebony and Highland Tan to provide a refined, modern feel. Limited features authentic materials like genuine leather, a coarse ash wood in black and modern brushed aluminum trim. Crafted details include decorative stitching on the leather-wrapped instrument panel topper, wrapped door armrests, seating and center console lid, and an embroidered Super Duty logo added to the floor mats. A soft headliner in Miko® suede is intended to give the cabin an expansive feel. Tested to Built Ford Tough standards The new F-Series Super Duty debuts as the most tested pickup in the company’s history. It endured more than 12 million miles of testing for the 2017 model year, which was increased by an additional 7 million miles for 2020 to ensure the new Super Duty can stand up to the rigors the most exacting truck customers demand of it. This torture includes running the truck around the clock under the most extreme loads and through all kinds of environmental conditions using dynos, test tracks and public roads. Because the testing surfaces and durability test tracks are so punishing, many of the miles are run using robot drivers that can handle the abuse better than humans to ensure every F-Series truck is Built Ford Tough. Ford’s new 2020 F-Series Super Duty will start shipping to dealers this fall. View full article
  12. 30 years ago at the Chicago Auto Show, Mazda pulled the sheet off a small roadster called the MX-5 Miata. Little did anyone know how much of an impact this little car would make in the world. Today, Mazda honored this anniversary by introducing the 2019 MX-5 Miata 30th Anniversary Edition. Available both as the soft-top and RF hard-top, it comes in a new Racing Orange paint color that Mazda says evokes "the breaking dawn of an exciting new day." A set of 17-inch Rays ZE40 forged aluminum wheels are based on the wheels used on the MX-5 Cup race car. All versions of the 30th Anniversary get Recaro seats, Brembo brakes, Bose sound system and compatibility with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Opt for the manual and it includes limited-slip differential, Bilstein shocks, and a front shock tower brace. Mazda is planning on building 3,000 MX-5 Miata 30th Anniversary Editions, with 500 coming to the U.S. Pricing ranges from $34,995 for the manual soft-top to $39,995 for the RF automatic. But you have missed your chance to order one. Car and Driver notes that Mazda has sold out of the allotment for the U.S. within four hours of opening the order books. Gallery: 2019 Mazda MX-5 Miata 30th Anniversary Source: Mazda Mazda Announces 2019 MX-5 Miata 30th Anniversary Celebrating 30 years, MX-5 Miata isn't just a car, it's a cultural movement 2019 Mazda MX-5 Miata 30th Anniversary will be available for pre-order with a starting MSRP* of $34,995 This special edition MX-5 Miata is equipped with a SKYACTIV-G 2.0L engine rated to deliver 181 horsepower Exclusive features include Racing Orange exterior paint and interior accents, special serial number badging, RAYS 17-inch forged alloy wheels and RECARO sports seats with Alcantara seating surface CHICAGO, Feb. 7, 2019 -- In 1989 the Chicago Auto Show played host to one of Mazda's biggest milestones, the debut of the MX-5 Miata. Now, 30 years later, Mazda is proud to share another milestone at the Chicago Auto Show with the world premiere of the 2019 Mazda MX-5 Miata 30th Anniversary. Continuing to embrace the philosophy of the original 1989 MX-5 Miata, this special edition represents three decades of history. A history that has been filled with so many people, from the passionate Mazda engineers who created the first-generation MX-5 as a homage to early lightweight European sportscars, to the succeeding development engineers who took up the challenge to build on the high ambitions of their predecessors. Collectively, they all helped the MX-5 reach amazing heights, from being the first car to win both World Car of the Year and World Design of the Year in the same year with the current generation MX-5 Miata in 2016, to achieving production of the one millionth unit in April 2016. In total, the MX-5 has won over 280 awards, as of January 2019, with many of those accolades thanks to the unshakable support of Mazda owners and fans all over the world. This special edition is meant to commemorate all these milestones and the important people that have been part of this special journey, especially Mazda's enthusiastic fans. The 2019 Mazda MX-5 Miata 30th Anniversary, offered in both soft top and RF models, builds upon the 2019 Mazda MX-5 Grand Touring, which added many new features including a newly refined powertrain rated to deliver 181 horsepower and 151 pound-feet of torque; a 17 percent increase over the previous model year. The first noticeable new feature is the exclusive Racing Orange exterior paint color. This strikingly vivid color pays homage to the yellow MX-5 Miata Club Racer that also debuted at the 1989 Chicago Auto Show. Racing Orange is meant to represent sunrise and anticipation, while staying true to the characteristics of a pure sports car. The roof on RF is painted Racing Orange, while the soft top will feature a black cloth top. The theme continues to the interior with orange interior louvers and orange piping on the heated RECARO sports seats. The seats in this special edition are wrapped in Alcantara, which is also found in the door inserts and lower instrument panel. All of these features help to further enhance the customer's sense of exclusivity and pride of ownership. To contrast the brilliant color, the new RAYS ZE40 17-inch Dark Gunmetal forged alloy wheels play up the MX-5's driving legacy. Customers may notice these wheels are based on the Global MX-5 Cup Car, further connecting the iconic roadster's anniversary edition to its racing roots. Standard in all 2019 Mazda MX-5 30th Anniversary models are Apple CarPlayTM and Android AutoTM infotainment technologies. Also standard is SiriusXM with three-month subscription and new SiriusXM three-year Traffic Plus and Travel Link® subscription. No special edition would be complete without the appropriate badging. Each 2019 Mazda MX-5 30th Anniversary model will be affixed with a special "30th Anniversary" serialized badging on the driver's side rear quarter panel to help commemorate 30 years of endless gratitude and unbending determination to keep evolving. Production of 2019 Mazda MX-5 30th Anniversary model will be limited to a total of just 3,000 units worldwide. In the U.S., there will be a total of 500 non-sequentially badged units available through a custom build to order website at www.mazdausa.com/30th-anniversary. Owners can order their 2019 Mazda MX-5 30th Anniversary model as either a soft top or RF with either a manual or automatic transmission. Orders can be placed starting on 2/7 at 12 p.m. CST.
  13. William Maley

    Ask Me About: 2019 Buick Regal GS

    As I'm writing this, Michigan along with various other states is under the grasp of a polar vortex. It is currently -6' F (the wind chill drops that to -29' F). I was keen on getting the driver who was dropping off my next test vehicle into the Silverado quickly so he could warm up. That vehicle is the 2019 Buick Regal GS. As much I would have loved to get my hands on the new TourX, I have a bit more experience with the GS. In 2015, I spent a week in the previous Regal GS and came away quite impressed. The turbo-four, all-wheel drive system, and suspension made for a surprisingly taut sedan. This new one (introduced in 2017) gave me a bit of pause as it would swap the four-cylinder for the 3.6L NA V6. This engine has not been a favorite of mine as you have really to bury your foot to get the most of it. In the case of my tester, it happens to be brand spanking new with less than 400 miles on the odometer. Base is $39,070 and with a few options comes to $43,115. My first impressions? I tend not to be a fan of red on vehicles, but the Regal GS pulls it off. The wide, long fastback shape wears this color quite well. Also, the wheels on this are quite sharp. The seats are quite snug for me, mostly due to wide shoulders. There appears to be some adjustable bolstering and I'll see that helps. WHY IS THERE NO OFF BUTTON FOR THE STOP-START SYSTEM BUICK?! Though the current weather kind of acts like an off switch. The AWD system is biased towards the front as some experimentation in a snowy parking lot. I'm able to get the back step out provided I get a bit of throttle. I'll have some more updates and a small gallery in the next few days. If you have questions, be sure to drop them below and I'll do my best to answer them. Also, I will have a final update on the Silverado sometime tomorrow. View full article

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